that's what's making news in america this morning. >> stay with us for "good morning america." thanks f the nation's top safety officials are putting drivers on notice when it comes to cell phone use in the car. i'm sherrie johnson, the latest on handheld devices. >> the holidays in close swing, they can be festive, exciting, also a little dangerous. details coming up. >> looking for last-minute gifts? we've got the top gifts to buy if you have a tech geek in your life. wednesday, december 14th. let's get right into this wednesday with a check of the forecast. good morning to meteorologist justin berk. >> let's talk about the highlights. what is interesting this morning, as we pull this back,
give me a moment for the manual adjustment, we will be watching slight change in the forecast just facing the fact that the radar indications this morning already show the rain in ohio about six hours ahead of schedule. that may catch up to the upper level winds that continue to carry out of the west/northwest and i think we have to account for the fact that there may be showers trying to creep into the west side this morning. 4, that is better -- 34, that is better than the last couple of mornings. mid-30s, mostly cloudy skies. yes, we had to clued the slight chance for possible showers, creeping midday into the afternoon. we'll still get to the lower 50s. first look at traffic with angela, good morning. >> good morning. out on the roadways this morning, already had to deal with an incident, top side of 695, police were on the inner loop between providence road and dulaney valley road. fortunately it's cleared so all the travel lanes should be open on the top side. u.s. 29 now, no incidents
reported on 29, making the drive between i-70 and route 32. and live look at the top side of 695, you can see we're clear and moving freely. on the top side between i-83 and i-95. charlie? first no texting, then hands-free only. now the national transportation safety board is calling for a national ban on all cell phone use while driving even if you are going hands-free. this is causing a buzz so for the latest let's head back into the studio with a live report from abc2 news sherrie johnson. >> reporter: charlie, we've been doing a little digging and found that texting and driving is banned in 35 states and the district, handheld cell phone use outlawed in 10 states and district, but it's not good enough. a warning shot went out from top safety officials. the ntsb wants any driver to be put on notice. the ntsb says enough is enough.
they say states need to take tough action now. they are calling for phones to be off limits while in the car. this means no hands-free devices, no bluetooth. for anyone that doesn't comply the penalties could be pretty steep. distracted drivers cause 600,000 crashes and 3,000 deaths a year. the ntsb is calling this a full-fledged crisis on the nation's roads. we caught up with local folks to see what they have to say about this issue. >> my perspective is changed. >> i don't want to pull off 695 to make a phone call saying i'm going to be there soon. >> e-mailing or texting on the phone is a primary offense in maryland. talking on the phone is a secondary offense. you can be cited for it if the officer first catches you doing something else illegal. aaa plans to push for talking on the phone without a hands-free device a primary offense in the upcoming legislative session. sherrie johnson, abc2 news.
>> that's where a maryland senator and new york senator are teeming up on capitol hill. they are going to introduce a bill to create tougher criminal penalties for those trying to intimidate voters. more on this story as it becomes available. if you're looking to get around dc it may cost you a little more in your wallet. a new proposal for cab fare increases has been approved. the vote was unanimous and the hike per mile for the fare, for $1.50 to $2.16. the wait time fare would also increase from $15 to $25 an hour. officials say the district fares are lower than surrounding jurisdictions and the new rates could go into effect as soon as february. things are back to normal in chesapeake high school after 18 students were pepper sprayed yesterday. it started in the cafeteria and
ended in one of the hallways. police had to break up the fight. 16 other students got sprayed as well and had to go to the hospital, the students did, for minor treatment. >> it was crazy. people were lying around all over the place, yelling. the teachers were just standing there. >> the county says the pepper spray was the best way for the officers to control that situation. howard county police officer will not face charges in the shooting death of an elkridge teen. jeffrey nichols was shot november 7th after refusing to give up a weapon. the prosecutors say the actions were justified. officers responded to nichols' home before including where he was and that's where police shot him. the investigation shoulder nichols had a pellet gun that looked like a semiautomatic weapon. an industrial park in hanover in the day of the shooting. despite the early morning eviction tuesday occupy
protesters say they still plan to remain in baltimore. they met near city hall this time, without their tents. as we first showed you yesterday police in full riot gear woke up to sleeping protesters giving them 20 minutes to get out. the protesters are deciding what is next. one idea, occupy housing in the city. mayor stephanie rawlings-blake says she will protect free speech but camping is simply not allowed. >> i think it was inappropriate of them to evict us while you were in the -- we were in the process of negotiating for a permit to stay there. >> protesters fought for more jobs. many of them are without work and are homeless. the city offered services and more than 20 people were taken to area shelters. continuing coverage of the jerry sandusky and penn state trial from the assistant head it didn't happen. he waived his preliminary hearing on 52 child abuse sex
charges. what is garnering more attention, his lawyer talked about a sex phone line while trying to protect his client. amidala says he was using a phrase to tell people they needed to get a life. syracuse now where two men who say they were sexually abused by former assistant basketball coach bernie fine are suing the university. the boys say the head coach suggested if they are lying about the allegations against fine they will talk about jim boeheim. still to come on "good morning maryland" -- a new study suggests some women are in a good mood for a women. who they do to remain cheery. we'll explain coming up. and holiday decorations set the mood but could they put you and
news time 4:40. mark your calendars, tomorrow is national cupcake day. to celebrate local eateries are giving away free goodies. they will be offering free ice cream cupcakes to customers tomorrow 4:00 p.m. in honor of national cupcake day. it's the second year in a row the shops have celebrated these free giveways. we'll have a link on abc2news.com. you can check it out a bit later this morning. justin? here's some sweets for you. take you back in time to yesterday, show you what it looked like as we have that mix of sunshine and high clouds.
the time lapse did a great job explaining that from the maryland science center. we look north/northeast, national aquarium at the right side of the screen. we had the high thin clouds painted across the sky. as we take you back west we can show you the sun across mount airy from summit ridge. and the holiday lights coming up. this morning we're back west. i am still freezing at 38 in sykesville. 28 ellicott city. freezing in cockeysville, 30 in bel air. there's that rain in ohio, we have to watch this system. it may creep back in and hit us with a chance of showers on the west side. we aim for a high of 52. 4:41. here angela with traffic. >> early morning look at some major routes heading towards the beltway, first, a report of an incident in white hall, old york road near 23.
we'll update that in the next report. in the meantime, if you're heading northbound on i-95 from columbia you're looking pretty good in the northbound lanes all the way to 695. another live look at the beltway in the harrisburg expressway north and southbound lanes on i-83 all clear from the pennsylvania state line to 695. and for those heading to the west side of the beltway no travel problems on southbound 795 and also clear eastbound on i-70. back to you. a new report shows mothers who maintain their jobs while their children remain young are happier than stay at home moms. a study labeled part time work over full time, the well being of the moms that worked part time over full time didn't change. the passion was less. meds, such as aterol may raise your blood pressure or
heart rate but don't increase risk of heart attack or stroke. the patient was between 25 and 36 years old. what goal can u.s. colleges meet and what is holding them back? details coming up. time to pucker up. where you can find the largest mistletoe of the holiday season and how you can help a child. we'll be right back.
news time 4:45. five things to know on this wednesday, 10:30, stephanie rawlings-blake along with members of the waterfront partnership in baltimore will be unveiling a healthy harbor plan, announcing living classrooms foundation. and president obama will visit troops at fort bragg in north carolina today. thousands of troops from that base are now helping close down the operations in iraq. the president admitted obama
will be on hand thanking returning troops and families for their service. and the annual report of colleges finds the u.s. will fail to meet u.s. completion goals by 2025 if the current rate of growth continues. the goal is to increase 25 to 34-year-olds who hold an associate degree or higher to 55%. currently we sit at 41%. in entertainment, lindsay lohan will be back in los angeles in court this morning. a judge wants to determine whether the actress is keeping up with her strict probation requirements, that include working at least 12 days a month in a county morgue. barbara walters will reveal her 10 most fascinating people of 2011 in a primetime special tonight. that special which profiles pippa and others including the kardashians can be seen on abc2 beginning at 9:30. the holidays are full of excitement but decorations can provide hazards as well for adults, especially for small children. abc2 news' annette charles
talks more about this. >> reporter: many people look forward to the holidays, you have decorated the tree, you also have people drinking and eating but definitely can turn dangerous in time. we have a list of what is going on. take a listen to what can become an injury. >> there are things in terms of injuries, candles, christmas tree lights, dried up christmas trees that cause fires and decorations. >> reporter: we definitely need to become mindful of what the list just said but it can also be a little on the hazardous side for kids as well. just realize where they are and where their eye level is when they are around the trees. they can get into the decorations as well. we've got a web site, www u.s. usa people -- usa-fema.gov to
tell you more. you can get there by our web site, abc2news.com. be prepared for the holidays. you definitely will be stressful but it can be good as well. annette charles, abc2 news. >> what holiday stress can lead to and what you can do to prevent it. at 6:00 annette is joined by a chief from the police department and health county. that interview coming up at 6:00. if you're still looking for that right holiday gift we have the top five gadget gifts. they begin with number five. game consoles, tablets, laptops, notebook computer, tv and smartphone. they are the top five. consoles are becoming more of a media device than just playing games. that makes them hot this year. the i-pad still the king of the tablet, always a great gift.
laptops, mac book air and ultra books are the tops. for television the bigger the better. the game changer appears to be 3d, also those that connect to the internet and smartphone, that's the number one tech gift, i-phone 4s and destroyed razor are the -- droid razor are the top sellers. we heard long ago kids are waiting in line for long hours for the new game. the tough part is on the moms and dads who have to deal with the expense. they come with the kids enjoying games but what if you could know before you buy. we've got insight thanks to local kids. we asked them to test some of the hottest games of the season from the wii, playstation 3, x box, kinect, ds and the favorite, sand central 2 with the x box for kinect.
generator rex for the playstation. while buying for kids remember those who are less fortunate this holiday season. to donate to the 13th annual kindertime toy drive drop off new unused toys at local walmart stores or fire stations in baltimore and anne arundel counties. you can also donate used instruments. the toy drive is partnering with the bso kids program. donate through december 22nd. details at abc2news.com. newstime 4:50. in new york city people are flocking to the largest mistletoe. it's in the flatiron district and organizers there talked about it on a dating web site. it's for a great cause. every liplock organizers now donate a dollar to operation smile, a nonprofit donated to
helping kids with facial deformities. 6.é÷interesting story from california, free weed for those in need. you heard that right. a medical marijuana dispensary is going out of business so they are having a pot giveaway. a lot of dispensaries have been forced to give up shop there. there's plenty of opportunities for patients to re-up and get their hands on the weed. new york city firefighter will not face charges after shooting and killing a suspected robber. just after midnight police say two men stole a trailer park down the side of the charlotte, north carolina, firefighter's home. authorities say the firefighter saw what was happening, hopped in his truck to pursue them. he chased the suspects a few blocks to an intersection and that firefighter tried to block the suspects, then they tried to run him over. he shot the driver in the head. detectives say his actions were justified. check this out, a divine idea you can now have your
daily bread with the image of christ toasted on it. a vermont businessman designed the holy toaster maker. he got the idea when he bought a toast we are a cartoon character on it, and now his business has 25 toasted designs including the peace sign and virgin mary. if you're interested it's going to cost about $32 for the christ toaster. time for a check of the forecast. let's go to justin. >> that's the story the producer lined up before weather? >> i got nothing. >> i got nothing. thank you, ashley, appreciate that. stop yelling in my ear. 34 degrees this morning in baltimore. it's not nearly as cold as it's within the last couple of mornings. a little push of milder air across the deep south. a slug of moisture made itself into ohio. it's far in advance to a$what computer models indicated. high pressure is still in control but the winds helping
to carry in the moisture and the stuff was supposed to pass to the northwest. a little hint of freezing rain and snow in northern wisconsin. a look at the push of rain. you can see the advancement, even the mid and upper level winds carrying it to the east and southeast. with that in mind i have to account for more cloud cover and then there are showers. a quick peek at the future trend, models don't show it but there's moisture in southern pennsylvania to show up this evening. 3:00, tomorrow afternoon, you may have sprinkles nearby but no big deal. front stalls to the south and could have a wave of low pressure. still watching for a chance of flurries or snow to the start of the weekend. 52 today with a slight chance of a shower on the west side and follow the wake-up window for a quick peek at the rest of the er)jrweek. got confirmation on the accident, white hall, route 23,
travel lanes are open but you have to slow down to get by. in the meantime, a live look at traffic on i-95 as you make your northbound drive towards i-695. here's what you can expect. also a live look at the jfx, current conditions clear making your way past the north avenue interchange. as for those of you traveling in the severn and glen burnie area on i-97, no reported troubles in the northbound or southbound direction. people doing christmas shopping in a belgian city suddenly found themselves the center of a nightmare. coming up, the latest in what officials are trying to figure out that brought on such violence. and some christmas trees in norway may be missing a main ingredient. what it is and why. when we come back "good morning maryland" continues. >> how you doing? i'm manny in kuwait, wishing
four people are dead in belgium after police say a man armed with grenades and gun attacked shoppers in the city of liege. two teen boys and 75-year-old woman are among the dead. officials say at least 123 people were injured and officials fear the death toll will rise. police say the gunman was on his way to be questioned by police when he threw the grenades and opened fire. the shooter and grenade thrower later killed himself. big problems in norway especially around the holiday baking season. norwegians are facing a butter shortage. supplies are scarce and the price i sky high. officials say the rainy summer
reduced animal food but increased milk production. they also attribute the shortage to the diet, people eating more natural home-cooked meals. drop your cell phone, grab the wheel. the fact the government is waging to keep your eyes on the road, less on your phone, coming up. >> so what, now what? the future of baltimore's occupy protests. could they be intentionally resorting to illegal activity to stay alive? and making the inner harbor safe for swimming, a pipe dream? not according to the baltimore mayor. what they have in store coming up on this wednesday, december 14th. "good morning maryland," i'm charley crowson. let's head to justin berk with a check of the forecast. >> i love about talking about swimming in the harbor in the middle of december. typically we have low of 28 and high of 46. those are the normals. this is one of the widest
ranges we have on the almanac from 11 in 1960. still coming in with some of the highest periods on record, late 1920s and 1930s. this record in 1929 at 71 degrees. we're getting closer to the winter solstice, shortest day of the year. this is going to be blocked out by a lot of clouds. rain to the west in ohio. we have rain mixed with freezing rain and snow in northern wisconsin. there's winter, we'll get it but today wondering if we're going to get in on some of the rain. slight chance but at least temperatures for the most part above freezing. we've got a 34 spot in baltimore and easton. 36 hagerstown. we should be warming up today with the cloud cover for 52. slight chance of showers trying to creep in midday and afternoon on the west side. we'll check out that weekend outlook in a moment. 4:59, a look at traffic again with angela. >> major roads looking pretty good but one accident, on old york road at route 23, that is norrisville road in the white hall area. all lanes are open